Politics

CIA REPORTS RUSSIAN HACKING AIMED TO ELECT TRUMP

 
 
Bipartisan leaders in Congress call for investigation; electors ask for intelligence briefing
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo by Gage Skidmore

December 12, 2016 (Washington, D.C.) - The Washington Post published a bombshell report Friday, revealing that the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, has concluded that Russia intervened in the U.S. election to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

TRUMP PRESCRIBES NEUROSURGEON BEN CARSON TO LEAD HOUSING AGENCY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Gage Skidmore

December 11, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – Continuing his string of maverick cabinet appointments, President-Elect Donald Trump has announced he will appoint retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, also a former presidential candidate, to serve as Director of Housing and Urban Development. 

A TIDE OF RATEPAYER REVOLT SWEEPS IN NEW BOARD MAJORITY AT HELIX WATER DISTRICT

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Elizabeth Hull, Helix Water District

December 7, 2016 (La Mesa) — Control of the Helix Water District board has shifted from a majority that voted to sharply increase water rates to a new majority that has pledged to resist new price hikes and if possible, roll back part of a five-year rate hike approved by outgoing board members. 

IT’S OFFICIAL: REGISTRAR CERTIFIES ELECTION RESULTS COUNTYWIDE: OUTCOMES CHANGE IN SOME CLOSE RACES

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 8, 2016 (San Diego) — Today, San Diego Registrar of Voters Michael Vu certified results in all races countywide. 

East County saw flips in several key races from election night to the final tally.  Here are the outcomes in some of East County’s closest races:

STEVE GOBLE AND BEN KALASHO TO JOIN EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL DEC. 13

 

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photos:  Ben Kalasho,  Steve Goble and Bob McClellan

December 6, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Challengers Steve Goble and Ben Kalasho have won seats on the El Cajon City Council, and will be joining Bob McClellan, who won reelection. The swearing-in ceremony will be held on December 13th at Council Chambers.

SENATOR ATKINS INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO CREATE NEW HOUSING FOR LOWER-INCOME CALIFORNIANS

 

East County News Service

December 6, 2016 (San Diego) -- Shortly after being sworn in as the senator representing California’s 39th District on Monday, Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) introduced legislation, SB 2, to create a permanent source of funding for affordable housing.

TWO MEMBERS SWORN IN BY HELIX WATER BOARD, THIRD RACE STILL UNDECIDED

 

Update December 7, 2016 --Today's board meeting will be held, since all votes in this race have been counted,   board member  Kathleen Hedberg has advised  ECM. 

By Miriam Raftery

December 6, 2016 (La Mesa) — Mark Gracyk and Joel Scalzitti were sworn in last night on the Helix Water District Board.  But the race for a third seat is still too close to call.  The Registrar of Voters has until Friday to certify final results, but if this race is not certified by tomorrow, a December 7th board meeting will be postponed, the board secretary has informed ECM. 

STATE SENATOR JOEL ANDERSON HOSTS HOLIDAY LEGISLATIVE OPEN HOUSE

 

East County News Service

December 5, 2016 (El Cajon) – California Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) will host his annual Legislative Open House from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Toyota of El Cajon, 965 Arnele Ave., El Cajon. The free event is an opportunity for Anderson and his staff to meet with constituents and hear ideas on new legislation for 2017. All attendees will receive a 2016 legislative update and an opportunity to submit ideas to improve state government. Anderson says several of the bills he has introduced in the past originated from suggestions by attendees to this annual event. Donated hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be provided by local businesses and community partners. To RSVP, contact Anderson’s El Cajon district office at (619) 596-3136, or visit www.senate.ca.gov/anderson.

CALIFORNIA FIGHTS BACK ON DEPORTATION THREATS

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 5, 2016 (Sacramento) — President-Elect Donald Trump has threatened to deport millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. But now California officials are fighting back.

This week, two bills have been introduced in the California Legislature aimed at trying to protect immigrants.

DEMOCRATS WIN SUPERMAJORITY IN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 5, 2016 (Sacramento) – While Republicans scored sweeping victories in the national election, Democrats have scored a major win in California. On Monday, a close race in the 29th State Senate District was called in favor of Democrat Josh Newman over Republican Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang.  That gives Democrats a supermajority in both houses of the California state Legislature.

MEDICARE, OBAMACARE ON CHOPPING BLOCK WITH HEALTH SECRETARY NOMINEE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 5, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – Congressman Tom Price, a Republican from Georgia and medical doctor, is President-Elect Donald Trump’s nominee to served as Health and Human Services Secretary.  But far from protecting the nation’s social safety nets, Price has pledged to dismantle them.

ADAMS PULLS AHEAD OF CARUTHERS IN GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COMMUNITY COLLEGE RACE

 

Update December 8, 2016: Adams has won by 124 votes.  The election was certified today.

By Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) - In the race to fill an open seat on the Grossmont Cuyamaca Community College District Board, Elena Adams has pulled ahead of Timothy Caruthers by a razor-thin margin of 69 votes.  Adams, a teacher backed by the American Federation of Teachers, has 50.1% with 18,136 votes, while Caruthers, who currently serves on the Alpine Union School District board, has 49.9% and 18,067 votes.

EDUCATORS RAISE CONCERNS OVER TRUMP’S EDUCATION SECRETARY NOMINEE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 3, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – President-Elect Donald Trump has nominated Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education.  But the nomination has drawn sharp criticism from prominent educators due to her support of directing public funds into private and largely religious schools through vouchers, charters and other means.

TEJEDA TAKES LEAD IN HELIX WATER DISTRICT; ALPINE SCHOOL BOARD RACE TIGHTENS

 

Update December 1, 2016: Lou Tejeda has taken the lead over Dan McMillan by 103 votes in the Helix Water District One race.  In the Alpine Union School District race,  Travis Lyons' lead over Lou Russo has shrunk to 25 votes.

The elections will be certified December 8 after all votes are tallied.

By Miriam Raftery

November 27, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) — Three weeks after the election, races in the Helix Water Board District and Alpine Union School District have tightened, with a potential for upsets once the final votes are tallied. 

NEW TRUMP APPOINTMENTS RAISE ETHICS AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST CONCERNS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 30, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — President-Elect Donald Trump’s holdings in hundreds of companies around the world, as well as his financial holdings, have raised serious concerns over potential conflicts of interest.  Surprisingly, there is no law prohibiting a President from making decisions that may profit him personally, unlike laws that ban such conduct for other elected federal officials.

ISSA BILL TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN ONLINE REVIEWS HEADS TO PRESIDENT'S DESK

 

East County News Service

November 29, 2016 (San Diego) — The Consumer Review Freedom Act, a measure to protect freedom of speech in online consumer reviews, has been approved by both the House and Senate and now heads to President Barack Obama’s desk for signature.

GASTIL CONCEDES LEMON GROVE MAYORAL RACE TO VASQUEZ

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 27, 2016 (Lemon Grove) — On election night, George Gastil held a lead over Racquel Vasquez in the Lemon  Mayoral race.  But by morning, Vasquez was on top. Her margin has now grown go 120 votes, close to 1%. 

On Saturday,  Gastil posted on Facebook, “There are still some provisional ballots being counted, but not enough to make a difference. (You can see the latest results for races at Registrar of Voters website, sdvote.com.) The early absentee votes went more for me, and the later absentee and poll votes went more for Vasquez. It was an energetic and positive campaign, with a record number of people voting in a Lemon Grove Mayoral election. I called Racquel Vasquez and congratulated her.”

CLINTON JOINS ELECTION RECOUNT EFFORT

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 27, 2016 (San Diego) - Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign has announced it will join in the effort to recount ballots in key swing states.  That effort was launched by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who has raised millions of dollars to fund recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and possibly additional states. 

TRUMP’S CABINET PICKS A MIX OF OUTSIDERS AND WASHINGTON INSIDERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – President-Elect Donald Trump ran as an outsider, a TV celebrity and business mogul with no political experience, who pledged to shake up the status quo in Washington D.C.  His cabinet appointees thus far reflect a mix of people outside the D.C. beltway as well as seasoned Washington insiders.

GREEN PARTY’S JILL STEIN TO LAUNCH RECOUNTS IN THREE SWING STATES

By Miriam Raftery

Some hackable voting machines used in 2016 presidential election were banned in California after investigative reports by Miriam Raftery,  now ECM’s editor

November 24, 2016 (San Diego) – After election security experts urged presidential candidates to seek recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan due to anomalies that could indicate hacking by Russia or someone else, Green Party candidate Jill Stein launched a fundraising page for recounts in those three states.  She has raised over $4 million – enough to fully fund a recount in Wisconsin—and is well on the way toward attaining the estimated $6-7 million for recounts in all three states including filing fees, attorney costs and funding recount observers.

The concerns are valid. Here’s why. First,  Russian operatives already have hacked an election—in the Ukraine. The wrong winner was prevented from taking office only because Ukrainian officials discovered the vote-stealing software,  says J. Alex Halderman, professor  of computer science at the University of Michigan whose election technology class regularly tests –and succeeds in hacking into—voting machines used in the U.S.

LEADERSHIP PROFILE: EL CAJON COUNCILMAN GARY KENDRICK, A HERO FOR THE HOMELESS

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo, left to right: Councilman Gary Kendrick with his son, TJ, and two formerly homeless men they have taken into their home, Tony and Michael

November 24, 2016 (El Cajon) -- It’s rare to find elected officials willing to stand up to special interests or cast votes unpopular with vocal constituents, doing what he or she believes is right for the community and for people in need.

TRUMP NAMES ALABAMA SENATOR SESSIONS AS ATTORNEY GENERAL, SPARKING CIVIL RIGHTS DEBATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 20, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – Civil rights activists are voicing concerns over President-Elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Alabama Senator Jefferson “Jeff” Beauregard Sessions III to serve as Attorney General, the nation’s top law enforcement officer.  A staunch conservative politically, Sessions was once rejected for a federal judicial seat by the Senate under President Ronald Reagan’s administration due to reported racist statements and opposition to the Voting Rights Act.  

TRUMP TO PAY $25 MILLION TO SETTLE LAWSUITS OVER TRUMP UNIVERSITY

 

East County News Service

November 19, 2016 (San Diego) — President-Elect Donald Trump has agreed to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits representing thousands of students alleging fraud and racketeering involving the now defunct Trump University, which was never an accredited school.

SENATOR FEINSTEIN CALLS ON TRUMP TO DUMP BANNON, RACIST AND ANTI-SEMITIC ADVISOR

 

California Senator Dianne Feinstein today released this statement on reports that President-elect Donald Trump will hire Steve Bannon as senior advisor:

East County News Service

November 16, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — “I became mayor of San Francisco when my predecessor was assassinated—I know how fear can tear apart a community. Today we’re again seeing the spread of fear, this time caused by a series of racist and xenophobic attacks.

“In the last week, Muslim university students were attacked for their faith, Latino students humiliated by peers who say they’ll be deported, Confederate flags and racist slurs used to intimidate African-Americans, and swastikas and Nazi propaganda spray painted on buildings. That’s not the America I know.

DEMOCRATS GAIN SUPER MAJORTY IN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE

 

Update December 1, 2016:  With all races counted,  Democrats have attained a super-majority in both houses of the California Legislature.

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2016 (Sacramento) — Democrats are just one seat away from gaining a super-majority in both houses of the California State Legislature, meaning they could over-ride a Governor’s veto and pass revenue-raising measures or amend spending laws without a single Republican vote.

CLOSE RACES IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- More than a week after the election, several East County races remain too close to call, as counting of mail-in and provision ballots continues.

In the hotly contested Lemon Grove Mayoral race, Democrats George Gastil and Racquel Vasquez are battling it out at 43% and 42.25% respectively, separated by just 47 votes.  In a distant third place is Republican Teresa Rosiak, who received less than 15% of the vote.

TWITTER SUSPENDS RACISTS’ ACCOUNTS

 

East County News Service

November 16, 2016 (San Diego) — Twitter is taking aim at racism.  In dual actions, the company announced it will suspend accounts of prominent ‘alt-right’ leaders who are promoting white supremacy and bigotry.  Twitter also released new anti-harassment tools that allow users to block offensive tweets containing key words.

BOXER INTRODUCES BILL TO ELIMINATE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

 

East County News Service

November 16, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — For the fifth time in U.S. history, the president who won the popular vote has lost the presidency.  Hillary Clinton received nearly a million more actual votes than Donald Trump, yet Trump is poised to be named president by the Electoral College after receiving more electoral college delegates.

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